Bud Kennedy

Cuban: Trump ‘blew it,’ ‘horrible’ if he won’t accept defeat

So Donald Trump wouldn’t accept Barack Obama as a legal American, and won’t accept Hillary Clinton as president, or even another Ruth Bader Ginsburg as judge.

Yet he praises Vladimir Putin, and Bashar al-Assad, and of course, himself.

In other words, Trump only likes strongarm leaders, and maybe beauty queens.

Sadly, even once-respected former Gov. Rick Perry has sunk to apologizing for him,

“Whether he accepts the outcome [of the election] — that’s a red herring,” Perry said Wednesday after Trump’s aggressive but sometimes sour performance in the third and final presidential debate.

“Wtth Donald Trump, the question is whether you accept the voter fraud that’s out there,” Perry said in the Cox Pavilion spin room at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center.

“What’s your level of fraud that’s acceptable?”

Across the spin room, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Trump “blew it” by saying he might not accept defeat. Trump said: “I will look at it the time. I will keep you in suspense.”

“That’s horrible,” said Cuban, an independent voter who hosted a Trump rally in Dallas very early in the primary campaign but quickly lost interest in his fellow TV reality show host and became one of Clinton’s most prominent supporters.

Accepting election results “is what made us who we are,” Cuban said: “It’s what made us so strong for 240 years. As a presidential candidate, if you cannot believe that, you cannot be president.”

Trump’s balky response to an obviously irritated Chris Wallace of Fox News became the most talked-about moment of a debate that delivered more serious policy discussion than the first two.

Clinton was challenged to defend her positions on abortion rights, gun rights, global trade and immigration, along with her career accomplishments. She ended with a flourish: “On the day when I was in the situation room, monitoring the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was hosting The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Once again, Trump interrupted more than Clinton did, and at one point he blamed her for not changing the tax laws that allowed him to not pay any income tax.

“The problem is, you talk, but you don’t get anything done, Hillary,” he said: “If you become president, this country is going to be in some mess.”

He called Clinton a “nasty woman.”

Clinton said:: “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

For much of the night, Clinton, 68, came across like an onlooker shaking her head as Trump, 70, yelled and Wallace, 69, tried to get in a question.

When Trump said, “Nobody has more respect for women that I do,” the audience laughed. Even Wallace seemed to crack a smile.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, bud@star-telegram.com, @BudKennedy. His column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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